The Challenge

Stigma and discrimination are the major challenges faces by individuals who are mentally ill. These pictures highlight both of these challenges and describe it explicitly.

Mental illness is not yet covered by insurancein India. The Mental Health Care Bill,2010,has not yet been discussed in Parliament which will rectify this lapse. However, we in Meghalaya are exploring ways to make insurance for mental illness a reality in our state. We are requesting the Government of Meghalaya to take a bold step and include Mental Illness in the Meghalaya Health Insurance Scheme(MHIS). The state would then take a leading role in tackling Mental Illness as a public health problem.

Even in the 21st century it is sad to see that this is how we still treat our mentally ill.

 

 

A mentally ill person being locked up in his own house in Wapung. The village community contributed towards making this lockup.
   
Superstitious beliefs led family members to lock up this mentally ill lady at her own home in West Khasi Hills.
   

 

 

Update for the above patients

The first picture has been able to evoke positive response from concerned individuals who have agreed to support a three-month in-patient stay and thereafter outpatient care as long as needed.

The family of the patient in the second picture have been convinced that she has an illness. She has been given medication and is now out of the locked room and has started resuming her responsibilities as a mother.

If you hear of any similar situation, please contact us immediately.